This game had everything, starting with Daniel Gossett in command from the get-go.
George Springer went down on strikes to lead off the game. Alex Bregman lined out, Jose Altuve singled (basically a given at this point), but Carlos Correa struck out.
Marcus Semien doubled to start the bottom of the first, but Matt Joyce, Jed Lowrie, and Khris Davis all struck out.
Gossett allowed a leadoff single to Marwin Gonzalez to start the second inning, but retired Tyler White, Derek Fisher, and Jake Marisnick in order.
Things got fun in the bottom of the inning.
Matt Olson doubled to center to start inning, advancing to third on a Ryon Healy groundout. Matt Chapman followed with a triple to right, scoring Olson. Boog Powell scored Chapman with a single. Phegley walked. Semien reach base on a little check swing bouncer back to Morton, who bobbled the ball and failed to get Powell out at home.
Joyce and Lowrie struck out to end the inning. 3-0 Oakland.
Gossett walked Max Stassi and Springer to start the third inning, but was able to retire Alex Bregman, Altuve, and Correa to get out of the jam.
Save a Matt Olson walk, the bottom half was uneventful.
Gossett struck out Marwin Gonzalez to start the fourth. The Astros could’ve made a move following Tyler White’s ensuing double, but Gossett remained cool and retired Fisher and Marisnick, ending the fourth inning at a career-high 7 strikeouts
Semien walked in the bottom half, but Powell, Phegley, and Joyce went down easy.
Gossett’s finally yielded a run in the fifth. Stassi singled to start the inning, followed by a wild pitch on Gossett’s part. Though Springer flied out, Alex Bregman doubled, scoring Stassi. 3-1 Oakland. Altuve reached first, but was picked off(!) by Gossett -- the first successful pickoff attempt of his career.
Despite consecutive singles from Davis and Olson as well as a wild pitch, the A’s were unable to score in the bottom of the fifth.
Gossett nailed down a 1-2-3 inning to constitute the top of the sixth, retiring Correa, Gonzalez, and White in order.
Our old friend Tyler Clippard took over for Morton in the bottom half. Powell led off the inning with a double, advancing to third on a Phegley groundout. Semien walked, again, then stole 2nd. Joyce walked, loading the bases. Lowrie also walked, scoring Powell. 4-1 Oakland, one out, bases still loaded. James Hoyt came into the game to relieve Clippard. Davis followed with a single passed a diving Correa, good for RBIs 100 and 101 on the year for Davis (it’s now his second consecutive year with 100+). 6-1 Oakland.
Just how good is KD?
Olson flied out and Healy struck out to end the inning.
Gossett walked Fisher to start the seventh inning, taking his final pitch count to 99. Ryan Dull came out to face Marisnick, who grounded into a classic Chapman-Lowrie-Olson double play. Dull retired Stassi to end the inning.
Hoyt remained in the game for the seventh, inducing groundouts from Chapman and Powell to lead things off. Phegley sent a double over the head of Derek Fisher, drawing a mound visit. Thus ensued a rightful Ray Fosse tantrum when home plate umpire DJ Reyburn started brushing off the plate instead of ending the mound visit well after their 30 seconds were up. The extra seconds of advice yielded ANOTHER walk for Semien.
Reymin Guduan replaced Hoyt, and Chad Pinder pinch-hit Joyce. He promptly flied out.
Ryan Dull retired the Astros in order in the top of the eighth inning.
Lowrie led off the bottom half with his FORTY-THIRD double of year, edging out Mookie Betts for sole position of second-most doubles in the majors. Davis struck out, Olson walked, and Healy walked, loading the bases. Can you guess what happened next?
Chapman walked, scoring Lowrie.
Powell walked, scoring Olson.
Phegley walked, scoring Healy.
Cue the POSITION PLAYER PITCHING ALERT!!!
Third baseman JD Davis entered the game with the bases loaded to face Semien. Semien struck out. This might be the most A’s/Astros thing to happen, ever.
Pinder walked (on the 10th pitch of his at-bat), scoring Chapman.
Joey Wendle pinch-hit for Lowrie, promptly hitting a single to left, scoring Powell. 11-1 Oakland.
Davis struck out. Phew.
Simon Castro took the mound in the ninth. Why the Astros still had their stars in the game down 11-1 in the first game of a doubleheader, I couldn’t tell you. Nonetheless, Correa K’ed, Gonzalez walked, White grounded into a force out, and Fisher struck out.
We’ll do this all again in a matter of hours.